Being in college means having a crazy busy schedule and hardly enough time to cook a proper meal. Instead of eating cereal, PB&Js or fast food every night, meal prepping might be a good solution. It’s inexpensive, easy and fast. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to stick to a budget and get the most out of the food you have.
The first step to meal prepping is to plan what you want to make for the week and what you are going to have to buy. That way you can stick to a budget. To further keep costs low, try to plan your meals around what you already have in your house — you want every meal balanced with a protein, a starch and a vegetable.
Checking local sale ads might take a little extra time each week, but in the end it will be kind to your budget. Avoid buying a lot of expensive proteins or you will quickly see most of your funds gone. Stick to more inexpensive items that will last awhile and can be used in multiple ways such as rice and pasta. Canned soups are a staple on most shelves, preparation is minimal and they last for years.
When planning meals, it’s important to have the proper containers so the food doesn’t spoil. Mason jars are a great way to keep your food fresh because you can store just about anything in them and they are great for freezing. Another good storage option is using multicompartment plastic storage containers. This way, your meals are in one container for an easy grab-and-go during your morning rush.
Usually, there isn’t enough time to eat a whole meal between classes, so you might opt for a snack. If you prep your snacks ahead of time, it gives you more time between classes because you don’t have to look for food on campus. Almonds, fruits and vegetables make for a great snack and are perfect for on the go. Simply fill snack-sized baggies with a handful of almonds or veggies. Apples can last for three to four weeks when stored in the refrigerator. Baby carrots are an easy snack too. You can buy them in individually packaged servings and they can last for over a week.